Archbishop of Canterbury’s claim “ for schools that are not of a
religious character, confidence in any personal sense of ultimate
values has diminished” is not only wrong, but also worrying.
that a moral system cannot be found without a religious framework
needs evidence to support it. One might even argue that practices and
beliefs based on religion ( at least some of them) can be considered
One of the main functions of religion is the social function
where it helps members of that religion to develop social identity
and in-group solidarity and favouritism. However, what we know from
social psychology is that this process leads to a bias towards
members of other religions (out-group members) and even prejudice. In
certain circumstances, this could lead to violence.
Even if this was
not intended, faith schools contribute to the development of this
in-group / out-group bias. In that sense, it can contribute to
division within the community as a whole and the creation of
different moral systems which very often clash.
The answer to these
‘competing narratives’ that the Archbishop refers to in his
statement does not lie with faith schools. In fact, faith schools
make these competing narratives worse. The answer is to create a
value system where everybody , religious or non-religious, is treated
equally and fairly. This is the essence of secularism and this is why
Leicester Secular Society will always call for an inclusive education